Luxembourgian quintet, Feradur, identify with the melodic death metal genre, but that might be a disservice to the progressive aspects of their sound and their love for second-guessing the listener. Sure, they employ harmonised guitars, and the drummer loves his double-kick acceleration. They even shred like Judas Priest. Yet these Benelux warriors thrash under the same full moon as Nightfall and Tribulation. You’re right to ask if they’re aiming to conquer the Finnish music charts.
Parakosm presents five tracks over twenty-six minutes, but Feradur make it as unpredictable and technical as possible without giving in to their wildest heavy metal indulgences. Opener, ‘Midas (Materia Prima)’ baffles as much as it batters your senses with its myriad modulations and expeditions through many sub-genres. It starts with the melancholy contemplation of Aythis, transitions into a My Dying Bride crucible of sorrow, and rips through a prog metal take on Paradise Lost’s Gothic opus via At The Gates. ‘Crest of Betrayal’ follows in a blackened death metal vein with a nod to Carcass along the way. You might think Parakosm is a tribute to the band’s towering influences, but Feradur are not here to just venerate the idols of the past.
The levels of musicianship are notable, but the lyrics are just as fascinating. ‘Saviours’ reads like a re-imagining of Vortigern’s Britons inviting the mercenary Angles and Saxons to defend post-Roman Britain from the invading Pictish hordes of Scotland in the late fifth century. “Save us from the saviours/ For we can’t save ourselves/ Terrified of failure/ At the sidelines we stand/ Hunger overcame us/ By sorrow we were overwhelmed/ Life in the hands of strangers/ Undetermined ‘til the end.” It reminds you that imaginative lyrics can provide you with a story in your head, but it also helps that the band race into a Judas Priest charge with the harshest of death metal roars. Perhaps ‘Tetsoul’ is the closest they come to a typical melodeath workout, with its Iron Maiden heroics, yet the gothic finale and sixteenth-note triplets pull back from a pastiche at the right time.
If one criticism permeates this EP, it’s the way Feradur switch between different genres like two unrelated bands. The contrast between the galloping heavy metal of ‘Saviours’ and the solemn introspection of final track, ‘Host of the Nightmare’, is like summer and winter. The former dazzles with swords drawn, while the latter plants its boots in the snow and searches for humane shelter. There’s no doubt Feradur are a confident band – you must be to mix gothic metal, melodeath and a smattering of experimental chord passages into the final six minutes of your closing track. With the iconic Jens Bogren mastering the audio at his famous Fascination Street Studios, Feradur are on to a winning formula for their formula-free art.
Melodeath is one of the most saturated sub-genres in metal, but these Luxembourgian warriors prove it can still be an innovative force. All eyes will be on them for their next full-length release.
Release Date: 30/04/2021
Record Label: Self Released
Standout tracks: Midas (Materia Prima), Saviours, Host of the Nightmare
Suggested Further Listening: Bloodmores – Too Close to the Sun (2021), Paradise Lost – The Plague Within (2015), Nightfall – At Night We Prey (2021)